Carnality (Part 4) – Will: Sermon By Apostle Gobanga
When God created man in His own image and placed him in the Garden of Eden, He endowed Adam with capability to exercise each part of the capacity of his personality Godward so that he could enjoy full fellowship with God.
In exercise of his mind, God assigned Adam the responsibility to name all animals. Through his mind, Adam entered more and more deeply into the greatness of God’s power and wisdom and, as a result, into fellowship with God.
It was God’s custom to visit the Garden in the cool of the day, thus affording Adam an opportunity to exercise his heart Godward as God and Adam enjoyed fellowship heart to heart (frank/sincere) as well as mind to mind.
If Adam in his total person were to have fellowship with God, the tangibility within the realm of the will would cause Adam to subject himself to the will of God so that the will of God and the will of Adam might enjoy fellowship together.
Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”Genesis 2:15-17 (NKJV)
Everything that God created was perfect, for even the fruit from the Tree Of Knowledge Of Good And Evil was not poisonous at all. Neither did it have any element that would defile Adam were he to partake of it. All that the Lord wanted was to test Adam’s obedience to God’s will, so that through the exercise of his will God and Adam could have fellowship in the area of the will.
There would not have been full fellowship between Adam and God if only the mind and the heart between the creature and Creator were in fellowship, void of the exercise of his will Godward. The will was the area within Adam’s personality that would enhance wholeness in fellowship with God to the uttermost.
Thus, God set apart the Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil and forbade Adam to partake of it, not to withhold from Adam any benefit from something, but to bring Adam into complete fellowship with God.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”Genesis 3:1 (NKJV)
In Genesis 3, Adam lost all fellowship with God because he was dissuaded from the path of perfect obedience to the will of God. Genesis 3:1 – the temptation first appealed to the mind of Adam when Satan raised a question in the mind of Eve. It was a question of fact challenging the mind.
For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”Genesis 3:5 (NKJV)
Next Satan dealt with the heart (verse 5), where by subtlety, Satan made Eve to doubt the love and goodness of God. What Satan’s subtle seed did upon planting in the mind of Eve thorough his original question was that God was not as loving and good as His nature attests. For if that were the case, why would He withhold what would make Adam/Eve be like Himself? Satan implied to Eve that God is jealous and selfish, because He withheld from them something that would be for their greater good. This made Eve to doubt God’s love.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.Genesis 3:6 (NKJV)
When you entertain a thought in the mind, the thought permeates to the heart so that you love that thing conceived in the mind. Then it moves upon the will.
Genesis 3:6 – The fall did not occur when the woman exercised her mind and saw that the tree was good for food. The fall did not occur when Eve’s emotions were stirred and she saw that the fruit was pleasant to the eye. The fall did not occur when she entertained the assertion from Satan that the fruit could make her wise. The fall took place when Eve took of the fruit and ate it.
The sin was not in Eve looking at, evaluating and considering, but in exercising her will to stretch out her hand, pluck the fruit and ate it in disobedience to God’s command. The greatest effect of Adam’s sin, in light of the revelation of the word of God, was in the realm of the will.
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.Romans 6:14 (NKJV)
Due to Adam’s sin, the will of man is under the dominion of sin. The word “dominion” as used in this passage is the word for “master” or “sovereign” who exercises authority and control over the individual.
The relationship of an unbeliever/carnal man to sin in the realm of the will is that of sin having dominion. Sin is the taskmaster/overlord of the carnal man, for the unbeliever/carnal man is in bondage of sin.
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.Romans 6:16-20 (NKJV)
The individual described in this Scripture is not free to do as he/she pleases but is a servant to sin. Thus, a true servant sets his own will aside to do the biding of his master implicitly and immediately. A servant has no right to question an order given to him by his master. This is the carnal man’s unfortunate state/position, whereby sin dictates to the carnal man to do its bidding.
What is freedom of the will/freedom to exercise my will? With our lawless nature, we would like to consider freedom as the right to do as we please, with no restraint on us from without, no obligation to anyone other than ourselves. In other words, you want to exercise freedom without recourse to any oversight/authority. Such a notion is unscriptural and satanic inspired.
A creature is free when it can move in its native element and fulfill the function for which it was created. Man is free when he moves in his native element, which is God, because man was created to fellowship with God. Fellowship is the realm where man accesses his native element, which is the Divine.
Although we say man has a free will, the truth of the matter is that man in his fallen state is not free. The fallen man has limited freedom in the same way a bird has within the confines of a cage. Man is only free to move with the element of sin, which is not his native element.
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.Colossians 1:16 (NKJV)
Man’s life is circumscribed by sin. It means that he is limited/confined within the realm of sin. Sin is the foundation under him, and the canopy over him. Apart from Christ, man’s total life is lived in the element of sin and in the sphere of sin. Since he is not living in his native element, we cannot say he is free until he moves in that area for which he was created. That area is the one of pleasing God for all things, including man were created for God.
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.Galatians 5:17-21 (NKJV)
The Scripture in this case shows that there are certain things the will cannot do. In verse 19, the works listed are manifestations of the will of the natural man, for when the natural man wills, chooses, or decides, he chooses in the realm of sin, because the works of the flesh as listed in verses 19-21 are sins.
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.Romans 7:23 (NKJV)
Man is a captive, a slave to sin. Sin is his Lord.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 5:12-21 (NKJV)
We are dead as we cannot fulfill that for which we were created by God, which is to enjoy fellowship with God.
In Romans 5:17-21, the word “reigned” is used to show how sin is: a mighty potentate, a dictator. Sin manifests an exorable will in giving commands to all the serfs who are under him.
In which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.Ephesians 2:2 (NKJV)
The Apostle Paul refers to the walk and the manner of life as external manifestation of acts of the will and when the will acted within the individual, it produced the lust of the flesh, and the desires of the flesh, and of the mind which are contrary to the nature and character of God.
From the above, it is clear that the will of the natural/carnal man does not have the capacity/no desire to obey God, because he is by nature a rebel, who is lawless. He manifests his lawlessness and rebellion against God by living under the dominion of sin, serving as a vassal under sin.
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.John 6:35-45 (NKJV)
The Lord had come to bear witness by His words/works that He is the Son of God Who desires to bring light to the world. Yet, those to whom He came rejected Him and did not believe Him. The unbelief of Israel is not because Jesus Christ had not authenticated His Person and validated His work.
In John 6:38, Jesus contrasted His will to that of the unbelievers, whose will was in rebellion against God. In John 6:44, Christ knew that the will of the natural man being deadened towards God, is enslaved/bound by sin, takes orders from sin and serves sin.
Sin never points man toward Christ, for it cannot relax its reign over an individual. Only Christ can break the shackles of sin and set captives free so that individuals will respond to Christ’s invitation to come to Him for light and life.
Man in his deadness of his will towards God, may do things that morally or ethically are acceptable and approved by society, but he cannot do anything that is pleasing to God because all he does, he does in response to the commands of sin, which is his master.
God will not accept obedience to sin as obedience to Himself even when sin gives a command to man to perform an act that seems in concord with God’s word.
God gave man a will so that man will exercise that capacity of the will to obey God.
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”John 6:60-65 (NKJV)